Andhra Pradesh Team Update

The Andhra team performed a church dedication in Pamarru alongside an old friend, Pastor Charles Spurgeon. They then ministered last night in Vijayawada before making their final trek back to Chennai to head home.

Pastor calvin says their time in Andhra was a tremendous blessing to the believers there, as well as a wonderful opportunity for reaching the lost with the gospel.

We were told that John F has been referred to as “Pastor John” on this portion of the trip, as he is the team leader. He didn’t always realize people were talking to him because he’s used to hearing “Pastor John” around Calvary Chapel Bozeman, but not in reference to himself! He has done a wonderful job with his first time leading a team in India. All of the team members (Sarah, Zack, Jillisa and Marty) have been a tremendous blessing, using their various gifts to glorify The Lord.

When the team arrived in one of the 7 villages that they visited in one day, John felt led to share from Galatians instead of James chapter 1. After the service, he was told that one of the believers there had just passed away that morning. They then asked him if he would perform the funeral service, which he did.

As the church, we are called to bear one another’s burdens (Gal 6:2). The team cried alongside the Indian believers as they mourned the death of their brother, but they also rejoiced with them as we will be reunited with them again one day in Heaven! Praise The Lord!

The 2 teams have united again in Chennai and will head out in a few hours to fly back to the States. Please keep them in your prayers for safe travel and throughout the rest of the year, please remember our Indian family who is fighting the good fight of faith in a difficult area of the world.

Lord, keep their eyes on You and strengthen them as they continue in the work of Your Kingdom. Bless the work in India and multiply Your Truth as it goes out. Thank You, Lord Jesus for the opportunity to serve alongside them in this Great Commission which You have called each and every one of us to. Call more laborers into the harvest field God, and have Your way here on this earth! Amen.

Sri Lankan Ministry Continues

GHBC Extension Campus…

On Monday we finally started teaching at the Bible College. The original plan was to travel through the night last Thursday/Friday morning and teach Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, but the Lord had different plans.

First of all on Monday Tony was feeling much better so he was able to rejoin the team which was a blessing. We started by getting to know the students. A few had been there two years ago when Pastor Ted came with another team, but most were new. Both men and women come. Most of the men are already pastoring churches; they have the call and the desire but they are lacking in knowledge and have a great hunger to know more so they can better serve their flocks. The women there desired to be better equipped to do evangelism, teach Sunday school, and be more prepared to serve the Lord wherever He may call them. All of them said they want to know God’s word more.

Pastor Ted gave a general survey of the Old Testament and will then do a survey of Genesis. Tony is teaching them from the book of James. On Tuesday we changed it up slightly with a session from Pastor Ted first. Then we split up the men and women. Brenda taught the women from Titus 2 and Pastor Ted met with the men and taught about how to shepherd the people. Then Tony finished up the teaching with James. On Tuesday it was nice to fellowship with the students afterwards by sharing lunch with them. It is more difficult here to minister to the students one on one because they don’t speak English and we only have two translators. But the love of Christ draws us close and makes us one. We can see each other’s love for the Lord and for each other.

On Wednesday we finished up our time at the Bible College. It feels like we were just getting started and now we have to leave. But there are some strong, very hard working Pastors here who will continue to carry on with the work. The students, pastors and teachers were very happy with the teaching. Pastor Christie (from Sri Lanka) was praising God that all of the turmoil with the elections did not prevent our trip. God did really work out all of the details and timing of everything. As of December no foreigners were allowed to go to the north and at just the right time the opportunity became available for us to get permission from the government, and we got it just in time to leave for our trip. Then there was the election chaos which wasn’t too much of a hindrance. God still allowed us to come, to teach, to minister and to do outreaches. The only thing we had to agree not to do is to open air preach, but the pastors still organized meetings for us to share at.

Evening Ministry and Outreaches…

In the evenings we are did outreaches very similar to how Pastor Christie does them as he shares the gospel here. This is what we did Sunday night as well. He organizes a meeting at a believer’s house and they invite other children and adults from their neighborhoods to come. The gospel is then shared and bit by bit the church is growing. Pastor Christie and Pastor Jeben (both from Sri Lanka) are working laboriously every day teaching at the college, doing outreaches every night and ministering at multiple churches on Sundays. Pastor Christie (from India) comes here from time to time as well to support their work. He loves the people here.

On Monday night we went to another of Pastor Christie’s churches. Again the family had an area with a roof over it that they built for the church to gather in. Mostly children came as well as some adults. It is a blessing to see the children there because then the next generation can be reached early. They then begin to change which affects their families and draws them as well. Also what often happens is that the people come for prayer, God works in their lives and they come to realize that Jesus is the only one who can answer prayer and perform miracles.

Pastor Ted shared his magic tricks and preached a message of salvation. We did some skits, shared some songs and encouraged them in the Lord. At the end Pastor Ted revealed how the tricks were done and shared about how the Enemy is the one who truly tries to trick and deceive us and again he shared a message of salvation because more people had been coming later.

Our Tuesday outreach was similar. It was at another pastor’s church who is also a student at the Bible College. It was in a very remote village. From the looks of it a lot of fighting had taken place there. There were many rebuilt houses and buildings that had been marked by the organization that had helped to rebuild them (Red Cross, UN, etc.). Also there was a large military compound there as well. In fact at one point in the evening the pastors came and said we had to leave suddenly. When we got into the vehicle they said that soon the army would be patrolling the area and we shouldn’t be seen having a meeting that late. But God had his hand there too, as usual. It looked like this group was mostly unbelievers and we had preached a strong gospel message that was to the point and easy to understand. We continue to pray that the seeds that were planted will continue to be watered and grow.

Beginning the long journey home…

On Wednesday after teaching at the Bible College we will head down to Colombo (a seven hour drive) to catch our plane back to Chennai. We will arrive there Thursday morning, spend the day there and then go back Thursday night to fly out at 3:30 am Friday morning. We will be reunited with the Andhra Pradesh team and hopefully we can even go to GHBC to do something for the students. We will see. Otherwise, please be praying for all of our travels, connections, safety, etc.

Thank you for going with us to Nepal, India and Sri Lanka with your prayers and support. We have definitely seen fruit here.

Update From Andhra Pradesh

The Andhra Pradesh team has been ministering to and praying for many people so far on the second portion of their trip. Marty had the opportunity to preach the gospel in front of the same Hindu temple that we preached in front of a couple of years ago. It was at this outreach that they encountered a demon possessed woman. Her husband brought her to the team and asked them to pray for her. To everyone’s knowledge, the demon was exercised after the team prayed over her for over 15 minutes. The demon even spoke to the team, but we don’t have many details at this time. Pastor Calvin told the couple that they needed to get rid of all their idols and repent of their sin and follow Jesus. Our God is so powerful. There is no shadow in His presence.

The next day they visited seven churches, five of which John F shared from James chapter 1. Can you imagine? Seven churches in one day! The following day was spent with Pastor John Calvin’s church and the orphans that stay with him. The team enjoyed playing with, loving on, and ministering to the children there.

We hope to have another update soon from this team but it is difficult for them to find wifi, so we may have to wait until they return for a full report. Praise The Lord for the amazing work He is doing through this team! Hallelujah!